Digital Art and the Glitch


Wandering through a digital-art gallery, the visitors are not surprised at seeing yet another “system-crash” sign pasted on the exhibit, or an “error 404” at the end of a hyperlink. Although occurring in many artworks unintentionally, some artists recognise the glitch as a substantial part of their artwork. We have encountered two main approaches to the use of glitch in d-art:

1. glitch as d-art aesthetic, an aesthetic that plays with errors and noise in the presentation of the artwork

2. glitch as a component of the creative process, where the software/hardware/wetware conflicts play a necessary (even if unexpected) part in the generation of the artwork. The ongoing pursuit of (artistic) development becomes a performance in itself. Here the glitch is a driving force for a play between the human and the machine, while the outcome is simply a fleeting target, that can be adjusted and even radically changed on the fly.